Laos is a landlocked country, and an unfortunate quality of landlockedness is that it’s not generally conducive to good surf. The only exception to this could be somebody from Michigan, USA who would claim that the great lakes produce some world class swell. Which, admittedly, is a reasonable point. Laos, unfortunately, doesn’t have any great lakes.
A great thing to do if you feel the need to go surfing in Laos is to venture east, to the shores of Vietnam. Vietnam is not necessarily synonymous with world class waves, but that didn’t stop the American GI’s catching a few breakers during the halcyon days of the war in the 1960’s.
Vietnam’s east coast looks out on the South China Sea, and the bounty of swell that these warm waters have been know to offer up even led to a one time international surf competition there in 1992. Even Cambodia has been known to conjure up a few waves from time to time. A trip down to Cambodia’s Sihanoukville coast and the surrounding islands could be rewarding, though the promise of waves would be far from a sure thing.
When in South-East Asia the most sure fire way to get your surf-starved claws on a few good waves is a trip to Indonesia. The Islands of Bali, Sumatra, Lombok, Sumbawa and a whole lot more offer some of the very best waves in the world.
The first surf pioneers to Indonesia in the 1960’s returned to the western world with presumably made up tales of the most perfect, crystal-clear barrelling waves they had ever seen. Disbelieving beach-bums flocked from all over the world to see it for themselves and the myths began to become reality.
Since those days the crowds have become bigger and bigger, by now it has become one of the premier surfing destinations in the world. So, while surfing Laos might be something of an impossibility – if you do happen to find yourself in that part of the world you’ll be surrounded by waves that almost defy belief, just a mere wander to the south.